Slovak gas utility SPP has managed to fight off another attempt to cash in on the legendary Ducky Bills, blank promissory notes issued by former head of the company and economy minister, Jan Ducky, who was later murdered in 1999.
The bills have been popping up for years with nobody totally sure of the exact number of bills Ducky put his signature to. This time the gas company staved off a claim for around EUR 38 million made by Swiss-based Gen Man Ventures, which has now lost all its appeals.
The Supreme Court presided by a three-judge senate ruled the promissory note void, reaffirming an earlier verdict of the Regional Court of Bratislava from December 2010. Former attorney general Dobroslav Trnka appealed against that verdict, with other entanglements involving acting attorney general Ladislav Tichy and his wife, who was the Swiss company’s lawyer.
The bills started appearing after Ducky was shot dead in the entrance to his flat in January 1999, but nobody has ever been charged. The accused is Ukrainian Oleg Kalasnikov, but it has been dragging on for nine years, with Kalasnikov not appearing in court as he supposedly couldn’t afford the journey. The Ministry of Interior is hoping to deal with the case in Ukraine.